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Dancing on Ice: Live Tour 2011 – Review

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    Posted: 10 Apr 2011 at 17:42

Dancing on Ice: Live Tour 2011 – Review

By Neil Midgley Last updated: April 10th, 2011

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‘You see a lot of people,’ said the practical-sounding lady walking across the car park to Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena, ‘will have had this bought for Mother’s Day.’

She was right: the first night of this year’s Dancing on Ice Live Tour was full of ladies of a certain age, hair nicely done, their indulgent husbands dutifully queuing for chips and Coke while their wives queued for the loo. And the show – led by ice dance legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean, but also featuring the best skating celebrities from this year’s ITV series of Dancing on Ice – didn’t let them down.

In an opening nod to Harry Potter, Torvill and Dean appeared on screen in very fetching red, gold and black academic robes at the start to introduce the ‘Dancing on Ice Academy’. The ’students’ – including the show’s professional skaters, as well as the most proficient celebs – gathered on the ice for the opening production number, Let’s Get It Started by Black Eyed Peas. (The male skaters appeared with their torsos in varying degrees of undress; wisely, the costumiers had given muscly Colin Ratushniak the barest chest of all.)

Andi Peters, the tour’s long-standing host, then appeared for a first half that aped the format of the TV show: each of the eight couples dancing a routine to be scored – and commented on – by the judging panel.

Hayley Tamaddon, the winner of Dancing on Ice 2010, was the only celeb not from this year’s series, and she scored a predictably loud cheer for her routine with crowd-pleasing professional skater Dan Whiston. Laura Hamilton (skating with Ratushniak) and Sam Attwater (with Brianne Delcourt) put in performances even more impressive than their very accomplished routines on the TV show, carving up the much larger show rink at speed and with ease.

Much though I respect his achievements both on and off the ice, I still don’t get the appeal of Johnson Beharry VC. His routine struggled to fill this bigger rink, as did that of ‘Comedy’ Dave Vitty, which looked – in the words of last night’s guest judge, a winningly smily man from Now magazine called Sam – ‘a bit pedestrian’.

In fact, this year’s judging panel worked rather well overall, with live tour stalwart Christopher Biggins joined by lead judge Robin Cousins and – to the crowd’s roaring approval – the unparalleled Karen Barber, whose removal from the TV show’s judging bench must surely be reversed next year. Nobody, I would hazard to guess, missed the absent Jason Gardiner, and there’s a lesson in that for the TV show’s producers too.

The second half was, if anything, more entertaining than the competition before the interval, with not one but two show routines from Torvill and Dean, as well as a crowd-pleaser from Sean Rice and (his wife) Jodeyne Higgins.

Unsurprisingly, it was Attwater and Tamaddon who got to skate Bolero; and it was Tamaddon wot won it, on the back of a casting vote from Cousins.

“That was a wonderful evening,” said my own dear ma, who I’d taken as my plus-one, as we walked back across the car park. “I shall think about that for weeks!” Given last night’s performance, I’m sure that mums from across Yorkshire were saying the same thing.

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